On Thursday, that hatred reached a fatal level, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office. Investigators said Patel slapped Ishan, her 1-year-old son, then purposefully left him alone to drown in a bathtub half full of water at their Lakeland home.
When she returned 10 minutes later and found him unconscious, she refused to perform CPR, even though she knew the procedure, the sheriff's office said.
Patel, 32, was arrested early Friday afternoon by Tampa International Airport Police, who found her sitting in her Toyota Sienna van in the airport parking lot. She told investigators she planned to jump off the parking garage roof, but every time she attempted to commit suicide someone walked by.
She is now charged with first-degree murder.
Investigators are looking into whether Patel was suffering from post-partum depression. She told deputies she "hated" her baby since the day he was born and blamed him for her "state of mind."
Pam Crain, a Polk County Health Department spokeswoman, said post-partum depression, which is a chemical, hormonal imbalance, can be moderate to severe shortly after giving birth. It affects 10 to 15 percent of women, she said.
Symptoms include negative feelings about the baby, irritability and anxiety, Crain said. Family members should watch for signs of stress and fatigue, she said.
"It's something that is treatable and certainly it's something that if a woman is having any thought of harming themselves or their baby, they should seek help immediately," Crain said.
Patel told investigators she was home alone with her son on Thursday. The baby began to crawl toward her in the living room; she slapped him because she hated the child and wanted to discourage him from coming close to her, the sheriff's office said.
She put her son down for a nap. When he woke up, she put him in the bathtub, which was half full of water, and left him alone, the sheriff's office said.
She returned and found Ishan unconscious. She refused to perform CPR or call 911, instead dressing the child and driving to the parking lot of a nearby supermarket, then returned home. She then drove to Ocala with her son and then to Tampa International Airport, the sheriff's office said.
She told detectives she knew her son was dead while she was driving with him because he was "blue" and "cold."
Her husband, Rasesh Patel, last saw his wife and son when he left at 7:20 a.m. Thursday to drop his 4-year-old daughter off at preschool and go to work, Polk sheriff's spokeswoman Carrie Eleazer said.
While at work Thursday, he tried calling his wife at home between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., before going home at 1:30 p.m. and finding them gone, Eleazer said.
Rasesh Patel called police Thursday evening to report his wife and son missing, saying she suffered from depression and hadn't been taking her medication, Eleazer said.
Neha Patel came home between 2 and 2:40 a.m. Friday, and was confronted by her husband. She took the baby to his room and placed him in his crib, telling her husband she drowned their son, the sheriff's office said.
She became angry when she heard her husband calling relatives. Before driving off, she told her husband she didn't want to go to prison and was going to kill herself, according to the sheriff's office.